Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: Manny Acosta breaks through, Frank Francisco bends without breaking

by Tim Heaney on September 8, 2011 @ 10:59:13 PDT

 


What are the odds that you still own the relief pitchers you rostered in your fantasy baseball draft? KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat series gives you no-nonsense ratings of performances, injuries and managerial decisions in MLB bullpens. Get your arm loose: Let's find fantasy baseball players in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league who'll get saves.

Mound meetings

  • Toronto Blue Jays RP Frank Francisco
    Frank Frank still safe safe
    Terry Collins said Manny Acosta would get the call if a New York Mets save was needed Wednesday, with Bobby Parnell unavailable and Jason Isringhausen dealing with a herniated disc and pinched nerve in his back. Acosta obliged with a two-K shutout stanza. Considering Collins ruled out Tuesday savior Josh Stinson from being a factor for the rest of the season, maybe Acosta will get a chance or two.
    Parnell, however, should return to getting the majority of chances at some point. Though each of these arms might be involved in the saves picture, the flame-throwing, more aggressive Acosta has made his way into the circle of late-innings trust. Considering Izzy is dinged and isn't a post-2011 factor, Acosta has probably become the best non-Parnell speculation for now ... and even heading into 2012.
  • Frank Francisco took advantage of the three-run lead he was given in the ninth inning on Wednesday, allowing two runs but eventually wrapping things up for the Toronto Blue Jays. It broke his 15-outing scoreless streak, but it reinforced his hold on the closer gig previously held by Jon Rauch. But Frank Frank needs to stop looking like Rauch did in such opportunities to keep the gig. He's safe for now, though.
  • Kyle Farnsworth blew the Tampa Bay Rays' closing chance Wednesday by allowing a solo homer. The righty has had a fantastic season, though, going 23-for-28 on the year in save conversion. His success stems from overall pitching maturity, along with carrying over a vital change he made last season. He started putting the outside of his push-off foot on the rubber, and his delivery has been streamlined as a result.
    Tampa holds a 2012 option on Farnsie. Maybe that'll prompt them to try Joel Peralta or Jake McGee for one or two opportunities in September. Neither is worth a mixed league addition, though, because of the small odds of that and the likely limited window that they'd be able to contribute.
  • Jim Johnson is supposed to be transitioning into the starting rotation, but he wound up registering the Baltimore Orioles' save in the 11th inning yesterday. He's next in line for now, and while he may net another opp or two, Kevin Gregg will keep his role for the remainder of the year as B-more plays out the 2011 string.
    The 2012 rope, however, points to the final year of Gregg's contract and a possible opening for Johnson if he winds up staying in relief. Either way, JJ, he of the heavy sinker, is an intriguing sleeper for next year.
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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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